St George’s Hall and Craven Dunnill
ST GEORGE’s Hall, part of the Unesco Liverpool Heritage Site, is said to be a neoclassical masterpiece. When constructed, the encaustic tiled floor was claimed to be the largest Minton pavement in the world at more than 30,000 individual pieces.
Today, the tiled floor is undergoing major restoration and the first roundel panel is completed by Craven Dunnill Jackfield, claimed to be the only company able to manufacture such complex encaustic tiles using traditional hand processes and skills to achieve tiles that match the originals.
The replacement tiles use vitreous clays of low porosity; these replicate the look of the originals but will, the company says, prove more durable than the Minton originals.
Chris Cox, specialist ceramist at Craven Dunnill Jackfield, led the project. ‘One taxing aspect was the hand-cutting of the roundel tiles, which had to take place before firing in order to achieve the exact curvature required.
‘After some experimentation, final templates were created for each tile, resulting in the tiles fitting together with the minimum of mortar joint.’